Top-seeded and No. 4 nationally ranked Cal men's golf team (305-288 -- 593) equaled the best round of the day at the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional on Friday to move up three spots into fourth place at the event being hosted by Northern Illinois at the par-72, 7,151-yard Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
The Bears are looking to extend their school-record string of NCAA championship appearances to five.
Cal will begin Saturday's scheduled third and final round in five threesomes along with golfers from USC and Purdue.
Leader UAB (584), Illinois (585) and Clemson (591) start Saturday's final 18 holes ahead of Cal, while USC (594) and Purdue (597) are close behind.
"The way it's looking we basically have four teams for the final three spots," Cal coach Steve Desimone said. "When you get into an NCAA Regional you know you're going to have a dogfight, and here we go."
Brandon Hagy (73-72--145) and Joel Stalter (74-71--145) are both among a group of eight golfers tied for second place trailing second-round leader Brian Campbell of Illinois (69-70--139). Stalter jumped up nine spots while Hagy moved up four. Both have top career NCAA regional finishes of third.
Cal ends its run in the NCAA team tournament with a 17-8 record, while the Longhorns improved to 23-5.
A Cal football player on Friday pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges that his attorney said are based on a one-sided account of a confrontation that started when the sophomore safety was attacked by the alleged victim's dog.
Darmaria Drew, 20, from Livermore, has been suspended from the Cal football team pending the outcome of allegations that he punched a fellow student in the face at least three times and fractured his jaw. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office, which charged Drew this week with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, alleges that Drew attacked the student and kicked his 20-pound Jack Russell terrier mix during a fundraising event at a fraternity house on May 4.
Staff writer Malaika Fraley contributed to this report.